In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Texas, an injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim with Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. There are specific procedures and timelines that need to be followed in order to make an eligible claim. An overview of these procedures and timelines are provided below.
Reporting The Injury To The Employer Within 30 Days
As an initial matter, once a worker has suffered a work-related injury or illness, the worker is responsible for notifying their employer of the injury within 30 days of suffering the injury, or 30 days from learning that the injury or illness is work-related. Failure on the part of the injured employee to report the injury to the employer can result in the forfeiture of the worker’s right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits on that specific work-related injury or illness.
Furthermore, reporting the injury to an employer places the employer on notice of unsafe work conditions that can be addressed immediately so other workers are not also injured due to the unsafe workplace conditions. Reporting also generates a record of the injury with the employer.
Employer Notification of The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provider
In turn, the injured worker’s employer is required to notify the workers’ compensation insurance provider within eight days of a worker’s absence from work of more than one day due to a work-related injury or illness, or of gaining knowledge that an occupational disease exists or a work-related fatality occurred. The employer must complete and submit to the insurance provider the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness form (DWC Form-001), and provide a copy of this report to the injured worker.
Submitting The Appropriate Paperwork
Injured workers must complete and submit to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease form (DWC Form-041). This form must be completed within the one year statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Generally these forms can be completed at the injured worker’s nearest Division of Workers’ Compensation field office for the county in which they are located.
Filing For Death Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation
When a worker is killed as a result of their work-related injuries or illness, the worker’s surviving family members (i.e., surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, other dependents and parents) can seek death benefits through workers’ compensation if they are eligible. Eligible surviving family members who wish to seek death benefits must complete and submit to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation a Beneficiary Claim for Death Benefits form (DWC Form-042). This form must be completed and submitted within the one year statute of limitations for filing a claim. A copy of the death certificate and copies of other legal documentation that can be used to establish surviving family member status are required to be filed with the DWC Form-042.